Praise for Indian shadow leather puppetry

Belagal Veeranna — an exponent of shadow leather puppetry and chairman of the Karnataka Yakshagana — and his troupe has won applause from the people of Indonesia, the land which has declared traditional leather puppetry as its national art.

Mr. Veeranna and his troupe, under the banner of Sri Ramanjaneya Togulugombe Mela Trust, was the only troupe from the State to be invited to perform at the Festival of India, organised in Indonesia.

The troupe presented ‘Panchavati’ episode of the Ramayana for six days, from May 25 and 26 at Yogyakarta, May 27 and 28th at Surakarta and May 30-31 Denpasar, Natya Mandala Auditorium, besides participating in workshops organised on the occasion.


“Indonesia is well known for its leather puppetry and has been presenting the episodes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata,” Mr. Veeranna said. This is his third international tour after Germany and Switzerland.

“There is lot of difference between our leather puppets and the Indonesian one. Our leather puppets are transparent, bigger and more colourful, and even the presentation differs. Theirs has a classical touch and is not a shadow presentation, while our’s is folk form. The audience, though they did not know Kannada, sat with rapt attention, as they were well versed with the Ramayana,” he said.

Indian Ambassador in Indonesia Virendra Pal Singh, was among other dignitaries who witnessed the performances.

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